At 18 years old, the ideal goal is typically to figure out what you’d like to do, and then find a way to eventually start doing it.
Christian Miller seems to have skipped a few steps ahead. He’ll turn just 19 in July, but he can already utter a sentence many his age, and much older, usually can only dream about.
“I’m actually doing what I like to do,” Miller said.
What he likes to do is bowl, and when it comes to that sport he has always been ahead of the curve. He was 15 in 2015, when he rolled back-to-back 300 games and shot an 858 series, setting a new house record at Manatee Lanes and coming within 10 pins of the county mark. Those are records for any bowler, youth or adult.
Now already he finds himself operating the house-owned Action Pro Shop at Rockin Rollin Bowl in Beverly Hills.
“I’ve been drilling bowling balls for a few years now up in Gainesville and (Rockin Rollin Bowl) wound up needing a new pro shop guy,” Miller said. “It’s crazy. Just knowing it’s literally on me, it’s crazy.
“The majority of pro shop guys start when they’re 23 or 24. I think it’s going to give me a head start to learning everything.”
This isn’t the only recent development for Miller in the world of bowling. A few weeks ago, he officially joined the Professional Bowlers Association on the South Region tour.
“It’s been really cool. I travel with a great group of guys,” he said. “I’ve bowled well, but outside of bowling has been fun. I go out and compete, but have fun with my buddies, also.
“I feel like I’ve gotten a little better just because of experience. I’ve bowled on different patterns; it’s a step up from what I normally do competition-wise. I have to be on my ‘A’ game to be able to bowl. It brings out that side of me when I know every shot matters.”
Miller earned his PBA card by cashing in two April tournaments. He finished 21st at the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open in Georgia on April 13-14, earning $410, and placed 16th at the Brighton Construction Myrtle Beach Open on April 27-28, collecting $500.
In his first tournament as a professional, he came in 39th at the B&R Hauling Aberdeen South Open on May 4-5 in North Carolina.
“I’m competing for Rookie of the Year for the South Region,” Miller said. “That’s what I want this year. Long term I want to be able to go on the national tour.”
He is also still bowling locally in multiple leagues. He averaged as high as 225 in the just-completed season of the Parkview Scratch Trio at Parkview Lanes.
Meanwhile, he plans to resume taking classes at the College of Central Florida this fall. But he has already made significant headway toward the future he envisions for himself.
“One day I want to be able to open up my own shop,” Miller said. “This is a steppingstone to doing that.”